Chelsea’s Kurt Zouma has apparently been put on José Mourinho’s shopping list for the summer as our London rivals look to bolster their defensive options, according French media outlet RMC Sport.
This wouldn’t be the first time the two would be working together of course. Mourinho was the one who brought Zouma to Chelsea in 2013-14 after all, and actually gave him a chance in the first-team as well — sometimes even in midfield in classic Mourinho fashion. Chelsea were crowned champions the following season, with Zouma making 26 appearances in all competitions. He would eclipse that total the season after, even though it would end badly both for him (ACL injury) and for José (sacked).
Mourinho clearly continues to rate the now 25-year-old Zouma, as this video from the start of the current season shows. José, just a pundit at the time, was calling on Lampard to use Zouma — and Lampard has done just that: Zouma has played more minutes than all but three other non-goalkeepers: Azpilicueta, Jorginho, and Mason Mount.
That said, while Mourinho might see Zouma as an upgrade for his back four, Zouma has had an inconsistent season. He started quite strongly, but he’s fallen away as the season’s progressed. He’s started just 1 of Chelsea’s last 8 Premier League matches.
Chelsea’s defensive foibles weren’t all his fault by any means — more of a collective issue for the entire defensive setup — but it sure doesn’t seem impossible that the club might consider offers for him and look to upgrade an area of need. Chelsea have already spent big in attack on Hakim Ziyech and probably Timo Werner. Next up on the agenda should be defensive reinforcements.
Spurs are probably not alone in their interest. Everton surely wouldn’t mind having Zouma back after his successful loan there last season, and I’m sure there are quite a few others.
The question is, do Chelsea see Kurt Zouma as the one to make way in order to strengthen at the back?